Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad and thank you for all that you have done! I love you dearly.

My Father will be turning 76 tears old tomorrow. Happy birthday Dad! I love you dearly.

When I was born in 1963, my father was 30 years old. I am 45 years old now. How time flies. He was an athlete, an amateur boxer in UP and a student leader, corps commander of the UP ROTC in the 50s.

I will always remember the days when he was such a major presence in our lives, the lives of his children. He, together with my Mom, fulfilled what was, to my mind, nearly impossible. They were able to raise and provide for all nine of us and, well, I must say we did't turn out so bad. Of course, I am terribly biased.

Now that he has grown old and has become quiet and no longer as talkative, I miss my father of old. He has since been stricken with illness, he has been sickly for sometime now and his once proud, loud and arrogant demeanor has ceased to be. He was such a commanding presence in our daily lives when we, his children, were younger and he, healthier and stronger.

When he was in his 50s and 60s, he would push us, his children, hard. I thought too hard sometimes. He would challenge us relentlessly to do better in school and in extra curricular activities and at work. He would encourage us to accomplish more, to achieve more. I remember when I was a candidate for Chairman of the UP Student Council in Diliman in the mid 80s. He felt that I wasn't doing enough to campaign vigorously. He bluntly commented that I was perhaps afraid to win.

He was always egging us on, cheering us and providing material and moral support for those day-to-day challenges we faced as children and as young adults. His presence made us confident that we could accomplish all that had to accomplished and more.

I am who I am today, to a large extent, because of his and my mom's support. He was there for me when I lost my 5th grade declamation contest. He and my Mom were there for my championship game in the NCAA volleyball tournament in High School (we won that one) and they were there again for me for my UP volleyball matches at the UAAP. He was there on election day for my candidacy as chairman of the UP Student Council. I would not be here today doing what I do and doing it the way I do it had it not been for his presence in my life.

He pushed us to perform, to deliver. It came to a point that I would feel that what I did was never good enough and would therefor object to his proddings. I knew deep inside, however, that he was doing all this because he wanted us to succeed and be the best that we could be. He was doing it for our welfare. At times I felt a slight resentment when he was in one of those episodes of pushing us to do better. I felt at times that he was overdoing it and yes there were moments wherein we had lively and intense exchanges because of differences in views. Perhaps I was a lot like him and that I was proud and was stubborn too like him.

But today things have changed a great deal. Too much smoking affected his health. He has quit yes, but the 50 years of cigarettes had taken its toll on him. Hypertension and diabetes have adversely affected his overall physical well being. He is mostly quiet now and introspective. His doctors say it is because he had suffered mini strokes that slowly affected his speech, his motor skills and his alertness. Nowadays, he is quiet and less engaging. He has become more withdrawn. I find myself missing the loud, arrogant and sometimes over bearing father that he was. What I used to resent at times, I now sorely miss. What would I give to have my dad's old overbearing self back again and more.

On his 76th birthday I must admit that I very much miss my father's old, loud and arrogant self. As a child, when I was faced with difficulties, he was there to provide the much needed push and the all out support. In times of uncertainty and confusion during my growing up years, my dad was there to help set aside my fears. He was there to provide clarity and direction amidst the confusion. He always knew what needed to be done and always made that known to us. He was generous with his time and with his advice.

Today, as I face the enormous burden of national leadership, as I face the seemingly insurmountable challenges confronting our beleaguered nation and people, as I deal with the uncertainties of politics, as I grapple with the fears that come with the complications and difficulties of national political life, I find myself at this very moment terribly missing my loud and arrogant and proud father. He always knew what needed to be done and always made it known to us that he was there for us. And yes, because he was there for me then, I know now that these difficulties, these challenges, these fears I presently face will all be conquered in due time.

Thank you, Dad for being there for us when we were all growing up. Thank you for being there for me. I am the father, the
dad that I am today to KC, Frankie and Miel because that was how you were to me, to all of us.

Tomorrow, the entire Pangilinan clan will be having lunch in my sisters house to celebrate my Dad's 76th birthday. Tomorrow, I will go up to my Dad, I will greet him a happy birthday, I will hug him real tight and kiss him and I will say to him that I miss him so much and that I love him dearly.

Happy Birthday Daddy and thank you for all that you have done! I love you dearly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What are your top 2 choices??

I realized that in my previous blog entry the readers have expressed certain preferences among the 10 reasons.

Please fell free to 1) Let me know what your top choices are and why and 2) If in your view there is an additional reason you feel should be included then please post it as well so we can have more than 10 reasons to be optimistic and hopeful for our nation!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

10 Reasons why there is genuine hope for the Philippines

1) WE ARE LOCATED IN THE 'CENTER' OF EAST ASIA. We are strategically located at the heart of East Asia. North East Asia (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, HK) and South East Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos) combined makes East Asia. Every major city in East Asia is 4 hours or less away from the Philippines by air transport. If ours were a real estate venture in a commercial area, ours is a location to die for. We can be the shipping and air transport hub of East Asia. We can be the top tourist destination of the region. We can be the cultural center of the region for performing arts.

2) WE ARE NO. 1 in AQUAMARINE RESOURCES WORLDWIDE. We have the most diverse aquamarine ecosystem in the entire world that if managed properly will feed not only our hungry people but will be a source of huge revenue coming from a world in dire need of aquamarine resources such as fish, seaweed and other similar products. The Seafood basket and aquamarine resource center of the world. We can be the aquamarine resource powerhouse of the world.

3) WE HAVE A HUGE TOURISM INDUSTRY POTENTIAL. Our people are by nature extremely friendly and hospitable. We are only doing/achieving some 3M tourist arrivals annually while our neighbors are doing four or five time more with 12 to 15 Million tourist visits annually. It has been said that other countries in the ASEAN are doing so much more with so little in terms of natural wonders and beautiful sites while we are doing so little with so much. With the right infrastructure such as highways and airports and seaports in place we can be the number one tourist destination in Asean if not Asia.

4) WE ARE NOW NO. 2 IN THE BPO INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE AND CAN BECOME NO.1. We are, I am told currently second to India in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry. I am told as well that this industry expects 30 percent growth this year despite the worldwide recession as foreign companies look aggressively to lowering costs of doing business and therefore look to business outsourcing.

5) WE ARE AN EXTREMELY CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC PEOPLE. We have been called the songbirds of Asia. Our reputation as performers is legendary throughout the world (although we have never been boastful about it). We can be the center of performing arts in Asia wherein millions would visit the country annually to marvel at our cultural performances and our artistic productions.

6) WE HAVE THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW GENERATION OF PROGRESSIVE AND RESULTS ORIENTED PUBLIC SECTOR LEADERS. Since the restoration of democracy in 1986 and the passage of the Local Government code in 1991 (or some 20 years now), public officials have began to work with new resources (40 percent of national taxes are now plowed back to LGUs compared to less than 10 percent in 1986) made available by decentralization. Today a new generation of public sector leaders is emerging that is empowered, that is vision driven and results oriented. This explains why we have successful Local Government initiatives in Marikina, Makati, Naga City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Calbayog City and General Santos City among others. Hence from a generation of public sector leaders that by and large was corrupt, lacking in vision, lacking in creativity and innovation, we now have the emergence of a new generation of public sector leaders with integrity, with proactive leadership and with a commitment to reform and genuine change. New governance models and templates that are solving age old problems in the field are being forged, being tempered as we speak. A new brand of political leadership is emerging focused on solving age old problems in governance. The old, failed methods utilized by the trapos will soon be crushed and defeated.

7) INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENT IS ENHANCING OUR SENSE OF NATIONHOOD. We are fast becoming one nation, rather than a 'country' of many languages and many islands, now being connected by information communication technology. The ethno-linguistic barriers that used to keep us divided are being shattered by the interconnectivity of information technology. Today an entire generation of Filipinos fully understand and can connect with the Filipino language because of 2 decades of television news in Filipino (all TV news used to be English until 1986). The 3 elements of nationhood are common language, common territory and common economy. We are now becoming a nation because information technology is breaking the barriers that have prevented us from becoming united as a people. It is also now reconnecting some 10 Million Filipinos overseas to the motherland. We are becoming one nation and one people.

8) WE HAVE A RE EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS MINDSET. After over three decades of the OFW boom, we now have a new generation of citizens steeped with modern ideas coming from the highly successful host nations like Japan, Honh Kong, Singapore and the United Sates. Europe too has become host to hundreds of thousands of OWFs. The OFWs who have experienced life in these highly developed nations can now compare and contrast these experiences with the experiences in the motherland. In highly developed nations there is to a greater extent, a greater sense of accountability and a greater sense of justice and fair play.Our OFWs bring all that back home and having been enlightened by the experience will demand greater of their leaders back home. People are beginning to say enough is enough and are actually doing something about it.

9) WE ARE A YOUNG NATION. Close to 30 million of our 45 million voters are 18 to 35 years old. Very young. If harnessed effectively, these young voters can usher in the political and electoral change that we need to happen for genuine political and economic reforms to take place.

10) WE ARE A PEOPLE WHO LOVE TO LAUGH, WHO LOVE OUR FAMILIES. We are a resilient people. We can draw unimaginable strength and fortitude in times of difficulty in order to move ahead. We know how to survive despite so much pain and suffering. We know how to cope. We are willing to sacrifice so much of ourselves in order to provide for our family, our loved ones. This strength will not only bring us out of the mess we are in but will ensure that we are able to reach greater heights in our collective desire as a people to have a better life for those we truly care for, for those who mean the world to us. Our resilience in the long run will not only make us survive but will also ensure that we will triumph in the end.

We have enough reason to hope. We have, as a people, enough reason to act on these hopes and when we do, the genuine change we all seek will finally see the light of day and yes, by all means, in our lifetime.


Sampung Dahilan kung bakit may tunay na pag-asa pa para sa Pilipinas.

1. Tayo ay nasa sentro ng Silangang Asya.
- Ang ating bansa ay nasa puso ng Silangang Asya. Ang pinagsamang Hilagang Asya (Japan, Korea, Taiwan at Hong Kong) at Timog-Silangang Asya (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos) ang bumubuo sa Silangang Asya. Lahat ng lungsod sa Silangang Asya ay hindi hihigit sa apat na oras ang biyahe gamit ang transportasyong pang-himpapawid mula sa Pilipinas. Maari tayong maging sentro ng pambarko at pang-himpapawid na transportasyon ng Silangang Asya. Tayo ay maari ring maging pangunahing destinasyon para sa turismo ng rehiyon. At maari ring tayo ang maging sentro ng ‘performing arts’ sa rehiyon.

2. Tayo ay nangunguna sa likas na yamang pantubig sa buong mundo.
- Ang ating bansa ang may pinaka-malaking yamang tubig sa buong mundo na kapag napangalagaan ng mabuti ay mapapakain ang mga nagugutom na tao at maari ring mapagkunan ng malaking kita na nagmumula sa mga lugar na may matinding pangangailangan sa likas na yamang pang-tubig tulad ng isda, seaweed at iba pang lamang dagat. Tayo ang Seafood Basket sa daigdig. Maaari tayong maging pangunahing pagkukuhanan ng likas na yamang pantubig.

3. Mayroon tayong malaking potensiyal sa industriya ng turismo.- Ang mga mamamayang Pilipino ay likas ng mabait at maasikaso. Sa ngayon, tayo ay nakaka-hikayat lamang ng 3 milyong turista taun-taon samantalang ang ating mga kalapit na bansa ay nagkakaroon ng 12 hanggang 15 milyong turista na bumibisita taun-taon. Lumalabas na nauungusan tayo sa turismo ng iba pang bansa sa ASEAN kahit na nakakahigit tayo sa kanila sa likas na yaman at magagandang tanawin. Gamit ang tamang inprastaktura tulad ng mga highways, paliparan at daungan ng mga barko, sa tamang panahon ay kaya nating maging numero unong destinasyon ng mga turista sa ASEAN at maging sa buong Asya.

4. Tayo ang pangalawa sa industriya ng BPO at maari pang maging pinaka-una sa buong mundo.
- Sa aking pagkakaalam, tayo ay pumapangalawa lamang sa India sa industriya ng BPO (Business Process Outsourcing Industry). Akin ding napag-alaman na ang ating industriya ay umaasang magkakaroon ng pagtaas na 30 porsiyento sa kabila ng pandaigdigang recession dahil na rin sa kagustuhan ng mga kompanya sa ibang bansa na bawasan ang kanilang gastos na siya naming dahilan ng business outsourcing.

5. Tayo ay likas na malikhain at (artistic) na mamamayan.
- Tayo ay tinaguriang Songbirds ng Asya. Ang ating reputasyon bilang mga performers ay makasaysayan sa buong mundo (kahit pa hindi natin ito ipinagyayabang). Tayo ay may kakayahan na maging sentro ng performing arts sa Asya kung saan milyon ang bibista sa ating bansa taun-taon upang masaksihan ang mga kultural na palabas at mga malikhaing produksiyon.

6. Tayo ay mayroong papaangangat na henerasyon ng mga progresibo at results-oriented na lider sa pampublikong sektor.
- Mula nang maibalik ang demokrasya noong 1986 at maipasa ang Local Government Code noong 1991 (o mga dalawampung taon na ngayon), ang mga lokal na opisyal ay nagsimula ng magtrabaho gamit ang makabagong resources (40 porsiyento ng pambansang buwis ang bumabalik ngayon sa LGUs kumpara sa mas maliit pang 10 porsiyento noong 1986) dahil na rin sa desentralisasyon. Sa ngayon, may bagong henerasyon ng mga lider sa pampublikong sektor ang umuusbong at sila ay may mataas na pananaw at positibo sa magagandang resulta. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit mayroon tayong matagumpay na mga proyekto at ideya sa Marikina, Makati, Naga City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Calbayog City at General Santos City. Mula na rin sa henerasyon ng mga lider sa pampublikong sektor na sa simula pa lamang ay puno na ng kurapsyon, kulang sa pananaw, kulang sa pagka-malikhain at pagiging makabago, mayroon na tayong papausbong na panibagong henerasyon ng mga lider sa pampublikong sektor na may integridad, positibong pamumuno at may adhikain para sa pagsasaayos at tunay na pagbabago ng sistema. Ang bagong modelo ng pamamalakad na tumatalakay at lumulutas sa mga dati ng mga problema ay nababago at napapalitan. Ang bagong uri ng politikal na pamamalakad o pamumuno ay patuloy na umaangat at naka-sentro sa paglutas sa dati ng mga problema ng gobyerno. Ang luma at dati ng gamit na mga pamamaraang ginagamit ng mga tradisyunal na pulitiko ay di maglalaong matatalo at mapangungunahan ng makabagong pamamaraan.

7. Ang pagsulong ng teknolohiya para sa impormasyon at komunikasyon ay nag-aangat sa ating pagiging makabansa.
- Sa kasalukuyan, tayo ay mabilis na nagiging isang nasyon sa halip na isang bansa na may iba’t ibang lengguwahe at maraming isla. Salamat sa teknolohiyang pang- impormasyon at komunikasyon na nag-uugnay sa atin. Ang pagkakaiba-iba ng lahi na siyang dating naghihiwalay sa atin ay nawala na dahil sa teknolohiyang pang-impormasyon. Ngayon, may malaking bilang ng henerasyon ng Pilipino ang nakakaunawa at nakakaintindi sa lengguwaheng Filipino dahil na rin sa 2 dekadang balita sa telebisyon na nasa Filiipino (lahat ng salita ay dating nasa Ingles hanggang 1986). Ang 3 elemento ng pagiging makabansa ay ang parehong lengguwahe, parehong teritoryo at paraheong ekonomiya. Tayo ay nagiging isang bansa dahil sa ang teknolohiyang pang-impormasyon ang siyang sumisira sa mga bagay na hinaharangan ang ating pagkaka-isa bilang mga mamamayan. Ito rin ang nagbu-buklod sa mahigit 10 milyong Pilipino na malayo sa kanilang inang bayan. Tayo ay nagiging iisang bansa at iisang mamamayan.

8. Tayo ay may mga papausbong Middle Class
- Makalipas ang mahigit 3 dekada ng paglaganap ng pagkakaroon ng OFW, mayroon na tayong henerasyon ng mga mamamayan na may mga bagong ideya na nanggaling pa sa iba’t ibang matagumpay na bansa tulad ng Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore at Estados Unidos. Ang Europa ay lugar rin kung saan mayroong daan-daang o libo-libong OFWs. Ang mga OFWs na mayroon ng karanasan sa mga umuusbong bansa ay maari ng ikumpara ang kanilang mga karanasan sa kanilang sariling bayan. Ang ating mga OFWs ay nadadala ang lahat ng positibo sa bansang kanyang pinagtrabahuhan sa kanilang pagbabalik sa ating bayan. Sila’y naghahanap ng maagaling na lider at magandang uri ng pamamahala at gumagawa ng paraan upang ito’y kanilang makita.

9. Tayo ay isang bayan na binubuo ng mga Kabataan.- Mahigit sa 30 milyon n gating 45 milyon ngn mga botante ang 18 hanggang 35 na taong gulang. Napakabata. Kung mahahasang mabuti, itong mga batang botante ang puwedeng magsulong ng mga pagbabago sa pulitika at ekonomiya sa tamang panahon.

10. Tayo ay mga mamamayang masayahin at mapagmahal sa pamilya. - Tayo ang mga matatag na tao. Kaya nating humugot ng tapang at lakas ng loob sa oras ng pangangailangn para makasulong. Alam natin kung papaano mabuhay sa kabila ng sobrang sakit at paghihhirap. Alam natin kung papaano makibigay. Kaya nating mag-sakripisyo para lamang mabigyan ang ating mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay ng mga bagay na kanilang kailangan. Ang lakas na ito ay hindi lamang nakakatulong para umiwas tayo sa mga gusot o gulo ngunit para pagpapatunay na kaya natin ang mga abutin ang kahit sa pamamagitan ng iisang kagustuhan nating mga mamamayan na magkaroon ng maalwan na buhay para sa mga taong mahal natin at mahalaga sa atin. Ang ating pagiging matatag kung maglaon ay hindi lamang makakatulong sa atin para mabuhay. Magiging dahilan din ito para masiguro ang ating tagumpay.

Marami tayong sapat na dahilan para patuloy na umasa. Tayo ay may sapat na dahilan para kumilos para sa mga pag-asang ito. Kung ito ay ating gagawin, matutupad ang lahat ng pagbabagong ating hinahangad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paalam, Kiko! Salamat sa Musika! Salamat sa Makabagong Kamalayan!!

His was the 'new' voice of my generation. His music was 'out of the box' OPM rap that resonated amongst the youth of the mid 80s and early 90s. My generation.

I did not particularly like rap music but his was different. It spoke of pagkakaisa, of our being kababayans, of being Filipino, of being one nation and people. He spoke of kasarinlan, kapatiran, kalayaan and other Filipino values lost in a shrinking, globalized world.

His music then resonated with me, with many in my generation. A generation of young people who were slowly awakening to a new consciousness, a new awareness of being Pinoy in a world of many cultures, of many nations, of many peoples.

Thus his death resonates with me and perhaps with many others because apart from his message and his music, he was one of us, he belonged to my generation and his music, it was different in that it dwelt on our identity as a People.

He popularized our sense of ourselves as a people at a time when the information age was exploding around us and when information about the world all around us was spreading like wildfire and engulfing and consuming us all. He reassured us of our being distinctly Filipino at a time that was both confused and confusing. He gave us clarity. He gave us certainty about ourselves. For this, my generation will forever be thankful.

Kiko will be missed.

And to paraphrase Shakespeare...Good night, sweet Prince, may a thousand flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Paalam, Kiko! Salamat sa iyong musika at sa iyong gabay sa mga kabatan ng iyong henerasyon! You will live forever amongst a generation of Filipinos. A generation of Filipinos who now have a greater sense of self because of your music, your message and the gift of song.


Paalam, Kiko! Salamat sa Musika! Salamat sa Makabagong Kamalayan!!

Siya ang bagong boses ng aking henerasyon. Ang kanyang musika – OPM rap – ang tumatak sa kamalayan ng mga kabataan mula mid-80s hanggang early 90s. Ang aking henerasyon.

Hindi ako mahilig sa rap music, pero ang rap ni Francis “Kiko” Magalona ay iba sa lahat. Nagsasabi ito ng pagkakaisa, ng ating pagiging magkababayan. Binabanggit n’ya sa kanyang musika ang kasarinlan, kapatiran, kalayaan at mga ugaling Pilipino na unti-unting nawawala sa ating kultura.

Naimpluwensiyahan ako ng kanyang musika kagaya ng maraming iba sa aking henerasyon. Henerasyon na unti-unting namulat sa pagiging isang Pinoy sa mundo ng iba’t-ibang kultura, nasyon at lahi.

Si Kiko at ang kanyang musika ay yaman ng ating bansa at ipinagmamalaki ng aming henerasyon.

Ang kanyang pagpanaw ay malaking kawalan sa industriya, sa bansa, at sa aming henerasyon.

Ibinandila n’ya ang karangalan ng Pilipino sa panahon ng globalisasyon. Binigyan n’ya tayo ng tiwala sa kakayahan nating mga Pinoy.

Kiko, mami-miss ka ng mga Pilipino.

Paalam, Kiko! Salamat sa iyong musika at sa iyong gabay sa mga kabatan ng iyong henerasyon! Ang iyong musika ay mananatili sa mga susunod pang henerasyon ng mga Pilipino. Mga henerasyon na nagpapahalaga sa ating lahi at sa bansa dahil sa iyong mensahe sa loob ng musika.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Some 25 Years After the Assassination

The news about the release of the 10 convicted killers of Ninoy Aquino got me to think long and hard about how far we have gone some 25 years after his assassination in 1983.

I was 19 in August of 1983. I had no care in the world about government and politics. All I cared about was tine with my friends and family. All I cared about was living the full life of a teenager. The assassination changed all that. It cam as a shock to the nation and it shattered my indifference and apathy forever. I started to ask questions about the Marcos Regime. How could a former senator returning from exile in the US be killed in such a brazen manner? In broad daylight?

In today's terms it would be in a sense nearly the equivalent of killing a sitting opposition Senator in broad daylight. How could they think of doing something so dastardly and believe they could get away with it? How could these people plot a murder so foul and believe that the people would take things sitting down?

Some 25 years later, the foot soldiers convicted of murdering Aquino have been granted clemency after spending nearly 2 decades in jail. Yet the masterminds, those who planned, who orchestrated the assassination have not been identified and have yet to be brought to justice.

The Marcos regime's downfall in 1986 was hastened no doubt by the assassination in 1983. In that sense, the regime did not get away with it. Yet with the masterminds still unknown and unpunished some 25 years later, a number of those behind the brutal murder have gotten away with it after all. Thus far.

I have not lost hope. The Aquino Assassination in 1983 awakened a people and brought them collectively to rise up and condemn the injustice and to call for an end to tyranny. I was one of those who woke up from the deep sleep of indifference, of apathy.

I have not lost hope. I believe that the day will come wherein the truth behind the brutal killing of Ninoy will be known. The masterminds will be unmasked and a closure will be achieved.

Truth and justice in the end will prevail.